4-26-18: Political “Dis”respect: Solutions to the Loss of Civility in Political Combat

Isaac Crockett:             Well, thank you for tuning into our program. I’m joined by evangelist Dave Kistler. He’s the president of hope to the Hill ministries. He’s also a new grandfather. And we also have with us today a special guest, our friend Jeff Coleman, the founder and president of Churchill Strategies as well as he authored a book last year, a book that we’ll be talking about today. The book title is With All Due Respect: Recovering the manners and civility of political combat. And I’m Isaac Crockett. I’m the pastor of Hamburg Bible Church in Hamburg, Pennsylvania.

Our normal host and president of American Pastors Network Sam Rohr is unable to be with us today, but you know what they say “While the cats away, the mice will play.”, so we invited one of his old cronies or I guess you could say his good friend Jeff to be with us to talk to us about some of the many things going on this week. But boy, there has been so much news coming out of Washington D.C., so much going on on Capitol Hill, and Dave you’re an evangelist, you’re the president of our North Carolina chapter, but you’re also the president of Hope To The Hill Ministries, and so you have an insider track with a lot of the things happening, and I would just love to just kind of go to you Dave and let you catch us up on some of the things happening in particular with your ministry there in Washington D.C., right in the midst of everything that’s going on.

Dave Kistler:                 Well, Isaac thank you. It’s delight to be aboard with you and Jeff and yes. Of course all the eyes of the American public have been focused, if you’re watching the news at all, on what took place the last two days with Mark Zuckerberg testifying on Capitol Hill, and today Mike Pompeo is going through a confirmation hearing to be our next secretary of state. So there’s a lot of things going on that we would deem political, but what’s exciting to me is what’s been going on this week on Capitol Hill from a spiritual perspective. Our ministry, Hope To The Hill, has been doing an outreach to members of Congress. We do this every three months, and that’s been since the start of this year. We present to them gospel literature as well as a Christian DVD, and the movie that we distributed this week to every member of Congress. A personal visit was made to every single member’s office on Capitol Hill, and we gave them this great movie that came out back in September, premiered nationwide, called the question of faith.

And so that as well as a beautifully designed Easter themed gospel booklet went to every member of Congress. And I will tell you this Isaac it was just tremendous. Yesterday we had two staffers that trusted Christ as savior. That is the third person of significance on Capitol Hill that has come to know the Lord within the last 30 days, and so I want people to understand this: what you watch on the news is not the sum total of everything that is happening on Capitol Hill. God is alive and well, and his Word and his Gospel is still powerful to save and so we’ve experienced that even this week. We praise the Lord for it.

Isaac Crockett:             Amen. What a praise to see that happening and so much going on now. Yesterday the speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, he announced that he would not be seeking re-election. He said that he wants to spend more time with his family, in fact, I believe his quote was, “What I realize is if I am here for one more term, my kids will only have known me as a weekend dad. I cannot just let that happen.” , end of quote. Now when I read this I thought, it makes sense, and I can sympathize with somebody with these difficulties he must be facing away from his wife and his teenage children, but almost immediately after his announcement that he just made that he won’t seek re-election, and he wants to spend more time with family, many are already judging his motives, and what I kind of call reading his mind to say the real reasons why he’s doing this and he’s quitting. Fox News, one of their headline says, “Paul Ryan quit in frustration.” Washington Post says, “Paul Ryan implodes his party ahead of schedule.” Chicago Tribune said, “Paul Ryan is abandoning the ship before it sinks.”

Now we have our special guest with us today Jeff Coleman. We’ll be talking some about your book that has to do with being respectful to each other, but Paul just here as we’re getting into these top or Jeff, as we get into these topics about Paul Ryan, you’ve served in public office-

Jeff Coleman:               Yes.

Isaac Crockett:             … and you’ve been involved with politics for a long time? I want to just kind of pick your brain real quickly. Were you surprised by these reactions to Ryan’s decision and is this the kind of maybe lack of civility that your book is talking about when right in the title it says, “Recovering the manners and civility of political combat.”?

Jeff Coleman:               Well, first let me just say what Dave mentioned at the opening of the program, which is identifying the deep spiritual need on places like Capitol Hill where it is a desert, where people are in many ways in isolation. Their families are in one isolation chamber across the country, across the state, two or three states over. Maybe it’s … think about if you represented Alaska or Hawaii or California, there is from the minute you take that oath of office, there is a competing lifestyle that calls you in Washington to say that the real things that are significant are here. Look at all of the big issues that we’re deciding, and at home is a family literally that is from tuck-in routines, to church on Sunday morning, if you’re a Christ follower, to those just the rhythms of life, and homework, and conversations about life changes and transitions, and at all that are completely away from you.

So when Paul Ryan says a few weeks ago a contributor came up to him, and the speaker said, he said, “Look, I know people say it’s not about the quality of time it’s the quantity”, or, “It’s the quantity not the quality.” He says, “You know what? That’s a complete falsehood because it’s both. It’s about quality and it’s about quality.”

And then you’ve got people that have to make a political judgment around it and say, “No, no, no, no. The real issue is he wasn’t hitting his fundraising goals.”, or, “He’s putting the majority at risk.” And those things all may be true, but one thing we know is that nobody is indispensable, that as soon as that hand comes out of the bucket the water returns, and somebody else comes in and takes that place. So this was a courageous move, not perhaps politically, but for sons who will recognize their father and have a relationship with him, and a wife who will have a present husband. There is a time for public service, and then that politician has to know when it’s time to leave. And I think it’s pretty disappointing that the immediate reaction of many who are kind of in the ratings game is to make it political.

Isaac Crockett:             We just have a couple of moments to before our break, but do you think that it’s fair when someone is a public figure to say, “Well, this is what they’re getting themselves into. They know that when they got into this.”?

Jeff Coleman:               Well, it’s fair from the standpoint that it is legal, and ethical, and it’s protected under the First Amendment, but if people begin to treat people as people, meaning a newscaster looks and says, “Let me examine my own life and see the sacrifices I’ve made to be a lead anchor on Fox News.” And then I think I could probably empathize with the decisions that Speaker Ryan or other members of Congress, 40 some Republicans have decided this year to leave, then I think we could probably understand that these decisions aren’t made exclusively as representatives of a political party or a platform or an ideology, that people are really people. And that changes the whole nature of how we approach public debate how we frame up these issues.

Isaac Crockett:             All right. Yes, very good. People are people. Dave and I were just talking about this before the break, knowing people and then knowing that we love them that sometimes then we can talk to them in a different tone in a different way.

Well, welcome back. We started our program today talking about some of the current news coming out of Washington D.C, some of the exciting news of things that the Lord is doing through ministries like that that Dave Kistler is the president of Hope To The Hill and other ministries and just the Holy Spirit working and leading, but also just a lot of things going on, and we saw how quickly things can digress from what maybe a person like Paul Ryan says to others interpret it to mean or think that he might be saying by it.

And so joining us today is our friend Jeff Coleman. He’s a former state representative. He’s the founder and president of Churchill Strategies, and last year Jeff came out with a book titled With All Due Respect: Recovering the manners and civility of political combat.

Jeff, thank you so much for being on the show with us today.

Jeff Coleman:               Glad to be here.

Isaac Crockett:             Now Jeff you are a very very busy person, and with all the things that you have going on and all of your to-do list to accomplish, I don’t think that you were just sitting around thinking, “What am I going to do with all this extra time I have. I think I’ll just write a book because I think much extra time.” This book is obviously … it’s something even from what the book says it’s very personal, and you’ve been able to interview some really special people in this book, but what I guess was the impetus led you to write this book at this time?

Jeff Coleman:               Well, look, I’m a dad first, husband and dad. And during the presidential debates I really was excited about having a daughter who was old enough to begin to understand what it was like to maybe run for office thinking about public service early, and the debates were going to be a good way for me to introduce a profession that I think is noble, that is a legitimate calling, that God calls all kinds of people to, and especially Christians to be salt and light. But when I watched those debates there were moments where I just had to take them out of the room, and I go, “Is this really how is the MMA kind of world wrestling approach reality TV, is this the way that politics is going to be known to my children.” Are they just going to have to say get used to it because this is now more of an entertainment genre than it is a serious discussion of ideas.” Is this just what is going to be like, and forever do I just have to say, “Please just rule it out. Let’s not watch politics until you’re old enough.”

So the questions that we were all having as dads and moms in our church and how far is too much, and then you know someone would say, “Well, it’s always been this way. The founding fathers were this way, and it was always this vulgar, and it was always this personal, and nobody’s perfect, and look at the people God uses. He uses imperfect people. And people may hear this, and think I’m speaking about one or two particular candidates; it’s not. It’s the way the whole process deteriorated on both the Democratic and Republican sides.

So in God’s providence there were conversations that were happening at the same time with people that were friends or people that I had the opportunity to work with or go to dinner with, and then I said out of that came this book from these conversations that were happening at the same time. And it was not an organized process by any means to say I’m going to go out and seek these people. These are just the people that were in my life that God had kind of placed on my mind and heart, and I said, “Let’s look at this moment together. Is there anything we as Christians should be thinking about differently in this moment or do we just have to accept that it’s finally changed, and there’s nothing we can do?”

Dave Kistler:                 Jeff let me ask you this. In fact, let me give you an illustration-

Jeff Coleman:               Sure.

Dave Kistler:                 … and then ask you to comment on it as I pose probably the question of the day to you and that is this: back in 1856, in fact it was May 22nd of 1856, something happened in the Senate chamber in Washington D.C. A gentleman by the name of Charles Sumner had just delivered an impassioned speech against slavery and over on the other side is, and you know the incident well, a gentleman by the name of Preston Brooks who is a congressman felt like that his uncle had been impugned by Charles Sumner in the speech and walks across the Capitol building, and when he gets into the Senate chamber he has two other congressmen with him that basically act as his bouncer’s to prevent somebody else stopping him from doing what he was going to do. And begin to beat Charles Sumner with a walking stick and severely injured him.

Now some would go back and say that what’s called a Sumner-Brooks affair is the way politics has always been, but back then because there was not social media, there was not 24-hour a day news cycles, that the lack of civility was the same then we just didn’t have as much access to see it to hear about it. Is that really what’s going on today? Is it that it’s always been this way. We just haven’t had as much access to it until modern times with all the technology. Or is there seriously a different spirit in the country when it comes to politics, and if it is different today how do we go back and how far do we go back to reclaim the civility that you talk about in your book?

Jeff Coleman:               Wow. I mean Google the image of … Just put Congress and caning, and that famous scene that you describe will come up in pretty vivid etchings, and you’ll see that that moment looks a lot like what has happened in some of the Asian and some of the developing country as recently the legislative bodies kind of erupt into a brawl and a fist fight. The difference has been in our system that because the rules that, and there’s a chapter I wrote on decorum, the rules that govern our debate in our country fall under this notion of decorum.

And people like Thomas Jefferson wrote based on the idea that the person opposite you was by virtue of their being alive made in the image of God, worthy to be heard. That’s the beautiful thing about serving in the legislature is that, yeah, you hear a lot of gossip. You know a lot of people’s business. You find out things that you never wanted to know about yourself and about other people, but when that session convenes, and the prayer is offered, and the pledge is made, something amazing happens.

We now have to speak in this artificial almost elevated language of respect where I have to say Mr. Speaker I rise today to interrogate the maker of the amendment, the gentle lady, or the gentleman from Armstrong County. I can’t even refer to them by their name. And people might look at that and say, “Well, that’s ridiculous. That just changes the whole nature of it. Why can’t they just sit down and talk about things and vote?”. Because the founders knew and the people who wrote the rules for debate knew how corrupt and wicked our hearts were that if we didn’t have these formal processes and restraints, we would go at it.

And you know in our time in culture it has always bounced back to a norm. And so we’ll have a caning or there’ll be a fistfight or there’ll be somebody that pulls a gun or a knife, but these chambers where debate happens have been kind of sacred spaces. They’ve been the ring where the rules are applied. Social media comes in, and it’s like accelerant. It gives everybody then a platform and a microphone without us really thinking about the rules. Or should there be any rules? And say, “Well, social media kind of self policing because if I don’t like somebody thought I just unfriend them.” But what we’re missing in all of this is what information does to our hearts that the more toxic that we think about another person the less when we finally meet them in person. Will we be able to have an opportunity to talk about what’s really important? And for me as a Christian, that’s preserving the opportunity to have a conversation about the most important person and relationship in my life. And if I’ve ruined it because of the intensity of my passions on political issues, then I’ve really really missed the mark.

And so I do think Dave we’ve come pretty far. I do think it can go … I don’t want it to go back, in fact I think going back and being nostalgic and saying everything was okay in the ’50s or the 1700s or something is not the right way to do it. It’s to say, “Let’s use this moment to rediscover what it means to be a Christ follower in politics, and let’s fight with passion, and let’s make our case but to persuade not to destroy the other side.” And that’s why we have to be so very careful.

Dave Kistler:                 Jeff, I just want to comment and say what you just said is one of the most powerful declarations I’ve ever heard with respect to political speech, to political debate, and I hope at some point we can get this put into print because it’s a powerful statement. I just want to echo this before we go back to Isaac: when you meet people on Capitol Hill, off the Hill, outside the Capitol building, out of the chamber you realize some of these folks that you disagree with vehemently from a political perspective they’re just doting grandmothers; they’re just loving grandfathers; they have families just like we do; and they’re trying to raise grandchildren or perhaps raise children in a very wicked world. And so we sometimes forget that and I think what you’ve just said puts it in the kind of perspective it definitely needs to be placed in. And so I want to thank you for that.

Jeff Coleman:               Well thank you.

Isaac Crockett:             Jeff and Dave when we come back we’ll be talking about social media. But just to throw something that you real quick, Jeff, do you think that social media and technology is influencing our society to be less respectful towards one another and maybe want to answer that more when we come back too?

Jeff Coleman:               Yeah. Look, the short answer, the a quick answer, is yes because we really did before we decided to sign up for a Facebook account, none of us really got together and said let’s pray about how we’re going to use this medium for good. Maybe we did that at the arrival of television and radio. People really I think did think through how are we going to use this tool. We have not thought through. Why did God give us social media, and what message should we be using it for? We’ve just been kind of free wheeling it. And I do think it’s time for us to collectively put our heads together and say, “How are we going to use this tool in a way that’s redemptive, and healing, and restorative, and not just destroying our political opponents?”

Isaac Crockett:             We started our program looking at how our society seems to have accepted it. Almost seems like new expectations and how low you can go if we’re talking politics and tax on public figures, but one of the biggest areas where this lack of civility sometimes can be seen, and this can happen within families within churches. We’ve all seen this going on. It’s just the lack of civility on our Facebook post or Twitter or other social media. So our guest today is someone who is no stranger to politics, to media, or to social media. So I want to welcome back Jeff Coleman. Jeff, I’d like to just discuss some of these positives and negatives of Christians using social media in this segment, but before we do, I’d just like to get some information from you if you could just talk to our listeners a little bit giving maybe a brief description of what Churchill Strategies is all about maybe telling us some of the information about them, and then also information about this book that you’ve written, With All Due Respect: Covering the manners and civility of political combat. I’m sure that many of our listeners would be interested in finding out more information about both of these.

Jeff Coleman:               Well sure. Well first of all Churchill strategies is founded after I retired from politics, and it was a shift at a time when my wife Rebecca and I said, “Look, we’ve got to” … we knew that there was a choice between a real marriage and a healthy marriage or the pursuit of public office. We made that decision before our first child. I’m not saying to anybody who has a child that they shouldn’t get involved in politics. I just knew that our marriage was at a fragile point that we had to make an exit, and God provided this little communications company that we started that really was there to help people who wanted to go into politics navigate the seductions of power, and do it without embarrassing themselves in the process. And what that meant is we were going to do political campaigns differently. You come to us we’re not going to do opposition research on your opponent because I wouldn’t know what to do with it, frankly. If I knew everything that was in the public record about a political opponent, it wouldn’t change the way I would recommend we run a political campaign.

And secondly if you come to us and work with us, we’re not going to run negative ads against the opponent. We’re going to allow God in his sovereignty if he wants things in the public domain about somebody’s life, their record their work, we’re happy to help you debate the issues, and frame them up and draw a contrast between two legitimate positions. But if you want to run a campaign where you’re telling a half truth, or a distortion, or you’re sensationalizing, or you’re putting up an ugly picture of your opponent in his his or her worst moments, not there, not going to do it.

And then from there we’ve grown into a communications firm that serves … we see consequential leaders and causes, so faith based ministries, nonprofits, corporations that want to communicate differently, and who are not just looking at the data, the raw data, but have a conviction about what they believe. So our little firm probably looks a lot more like George Müller’s orphanages and the old missionary enterprises of old than it does a for profit business because we really do depend on whoever God brings to us, and we try to work within their budgets. And it’s a lot of fun to do a lot of different things every day, including public policy and political campaigns, but often things that are far outside of that realm. And then the book is on Amazon or you can pick it up at withallduerespect.us, and I think it’s five dollars or something for the download if you want to get the Kindle version.

Dave Kistler:                 Jeff, let’s move into this area of social media. There’s so much that is negative about it and of course this week just in the last two days Mark Zuckerberg has been testifying before a Senate committee, and then yesterday before a House committee, and the weaknesses of Facebook from a lot of perspectives have been uncovered. But I think social media, Facebook in particular, can be used in a great way as well. It’s a wonderful platform to communicate truth. So talk to our listeners, if you will, a little bit about how social media in general, Facebook in particular, can be used for good.

Jeff Coleman:               Yeah, well you’re right it can be used for good. Facebook and social media is kind of like the ice cream and Doritos of people’s life now. If you’re bored on a conference call, your default is kind of thumbing through, scrolling through your social media feed. If you’re long day at work, moms and dads don’t engage the kids on the couch, they’re on the phones or right those last minutes before bed, and you’re dozing off, “Ah, let me just check Facebook, and see what the kids are doing or see with the grandkids are doing.” The problem of course with that is it’s kind of like undirected play for children that if there is not a Christian every five posts posting something encouraging, and affirmative, and positive, you’re going to get drawn in to conspiracies and half truths. You’re going to be very susceptible in those exhausted moments of the day or when you’re feeling lonely and disconnected. You’re going to feel like you need a little information, a little gossip, and you know Proverbs talks all about how to control the intake of gossip.

But we’ve put social media in its own box because it really doesn’t … “Well, I’m not actually speaking. I’m just looking.”, or, “I’m just looking at somebody else so I’m not really judging them.”, or, “Well they posted it. So it’s fair game.”, or, “Well, he really said that, and I see the 30 second clip there and I’m going to share that and respond.” The question we don’t ask, I think, Dave, so often is: the real reason I’m on Facebook is, or the real reason I’m posting this on Facebook. I think if we filled in the blank, and so the real reason I’m posting this is because I’ve got a cousin who’s a liberal, and I really want to make their blood boil before they go to bed tonight, and maybe they’ll think twice about being pro-choice or their lifestyle or what they believe. And we have to be so careful that we’re gently leading people to information and not just firing it for the sake of feeling like we’ve stood up or we fought back or we’ve taken back ground. We were equalizing the media.

And I think that’s where I get trapped, many of my friends I know get trapped, and the default is: let’s just run from social media. And I’m saying, “Don’t do that.” Run back in but run back with some real accountability, and make sure that you’re guarding your heart while you’re walking through this very seductive minefield of information that most of it can fall under the gossip category, and we know what the rules are for that.

Isaac Crockett:             You know, Jeff, you’re making such a good point here, and we really need to check our motives for what we’re doing, how responding on Facebook or any social media. Do you have any real quick guidelines or principles that we could talk about helping people as they get on social media?

Jeff Coleman:               Well, I think … look I don’t want to tell people to get … I think a set of rules is probably not … principlising this probably doesn’t help. What does help for me though just personally is asking that question: why am I here? Is it because I’m having a bad day, and scripture isn’t really speaking to me or my prayer time got bored or I’m just lonely or disconnected from people. And so I get into that default of just say, “Hey, people magazine is there. The National Enquirer’s … ah, let’s just flip through, and I can do to the privacy of my home, and I can justify it because well, the other side is doing it.”. And I think so often that’s for many of us come down. It’s like, “Well, the other side is saying those things. Why can’t I to even the score? And we have to realize as believers that our fight is finished, that it’s over, that when people look at believers in the public square they should be seeing people in the middle of the tornado who are calm, [inaudible 00:27:28] Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. So calm in the middle of the fire that we can’t be shaken.

Isaac Crockett:             So true. You know Paul said in Ephesians Chapter 5 that we should avoid the unfruitful works of darkness, and there’s many things done in secret that we shouldn’t even talk about, but we should redeem the time by walking circumspectly not as fools, but as wise redeeming the time because the days are evil. So we believe the days are evil.

We need to redeem the time and ask those questions. Welcome back as we come to the last part of our program today, and we look at solutions for some of the lack of civility within our communities, within our churches, within politics, within our American culture, our American civilization or lack thereof, we need to understand the sovereignty of God, and the role that believing in God and believing that he is in control that it plays.

One of the best examples of that to me was my father. He passed away. The Lord took him home about four and half years ago, but my dad was a pastor of a church in central Indiana. He pastored there for 30 years before passing away from cancer, and one of the most touching experiences for me was after his home going, we had the funeral and the viewing, and the number of civil leaders of politicians both current and former that came out to pay their respect to my dad from all levels of government, and my dad was an outspoken pastor, a preacher. He preached and spoke on the issues of the day. He made a case for biblical values, but at his funeral and viewing there were so many politicians from both parties both Republican and Democratic that came through, and I know several of the more liberal ones that came through surprised me to see them there. And they said, “Your father, we didn’t always agree on many of the issues.” But they went on and said how they respected him, and he respected them and they counted him as a true friend and that he had been a pillar in the community.

Well we’ve been talking about civility with Jeff Coleman, he’s the, among other things and many accomplishments in his life, he is the author of a book, With All Due Respect: Recovering the manners and civility of political combat. We’ve been talking about the need for Christians to avoid the urge to be uncivil towards those particularly whom we disagree with. So Jeff, in your opinion why is this topic so important for Christians to practice nowadays in 2018 more than maybe any other time?

Jeff Coleman:               Well, I guess, Isaac, to put in a spiritual context, our enemy would love for Christians to remain in a silo of our own thoughts our own thinking our own media sources our own … and never leave that silo. And he would love for people who have other opinions never going to encounter a loving, gracious, engaging, persuasive Christian. And I’m not just saying from know your apologetics and be prepared to get into a debate. I’m saying that what’s happening because of these different political signs and labels that we display is we’re not having dinner with our political opponents. We’re not inviting them over to coffee in real life. We’re not grieving with them when they lose. We’re not being the kind of salt and light that we were called to be because we look at someone now through the lens of Facebook in very simple terms. We removed all their humanity from them, and we see them now as a democrat or a republican, a supporter of the president, an opponent of the president. So what’s being lost in this is the big picture. If this isn’t our home, if we’ve got a long term eternal view for this, our stay here should be one where people can come to us for any reason, and yes if we learn the trust to persuade them on a political issue, that may be a bonus, but it’s a secondary one.

Dave Kistler:                 Jeff, let me ask you a question that is … I think it’s probably a question a lot of people are asking. We hear this statement made within the political framework a lot. The condemnation is given sometimes of let’s just say the Republican Party because they don’t fight the same way that the Democrats do. In other words fight fire with fire. You need to wage warfare the same way the enemy is waging warfare against you, and of course involved in that sometimes is mudslinging, getting down into the mud with you with your opponent, which of course is the very thing that is the antithesis of what we’ve been talking about today.

Colossians 4:6 says this, “Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt that you may know how you ought to answer every man.” Of course gracious speech is the standard, but seasoned with salt. And I know I’m getting into a little bit of biblical interpretation. Salt was of course a preservative it was a flavorative, but also salt can sting from time to time if it touches something that an exposed part of the body. So there is a time and place for us to have, I don’t even know no better way to say it than this, a little bit of an edge to our speech, a little bit of sting to it. How do you balance that and avoid just getting down into the mud and fighting fire with fire, which, of course, we don’t believe is a biblical concept?

Jeff Coleman:               Well, first that verse is an important one to me. That was my freshman year at Liberty University. My speech teacher had us all memorize that, saying before we learned how to give a speech, we have to know what our motives are for communicating. And Dr. Falwell was someone who spent a good bit of time using the moments that he made a slip up or his adrenaline got too hot, and he said something that may have been technically correct, but actually became a distraction for his primary mission, and sometimes did lose opportunities for the big one.

Look, I think the only way to do this is to before those words leave your mouth, is to really saturate it with prayer to know that if you’re going to debate someone, as I have different times, and I’m invited to a show when there’s someone who’s a political opposite that time in the green room before and that time in the green room after if we debate, and I can’t go on say, “Hey, could we get together? Could our families get together?”. If I can’t say that, I know I’ve crossed the line, and I’m very thankful for times when we ran out of time on a program or I just felt the nudge or my wife reminded me before I went on the air, “Just remember what you’re there for.”

If we think that we’re just another cog in a political movement or a machine or that our only purpose is to win. Are Christians tired of losing? Sure, but sometimes God calls us to be humiliated publicly by electoral defeat. I think that people like John Ashcroft who lost to a dead senator in Missouri. The way that he responded to that loss opened up so many people to say, “You know what? He didn’t value political victory more than he did Jesus.” And that’s where it comes down. It’s like I can lose a lot of political fights, and be embarrassed on the floor or other places, but if I at the end of my life have this tally of things that I’ve said that have been more destructive, I’ve had to walk back so many comments, and so many things I’ve said because my heart motives were off. It requires a team of people, Dave, to keep me in check., and I have to be in the word, and I have to pray before I do anything.

Isaac Crockett:             Amen. Amen. So true. Dave, as we are just in the last moments of our program would you take us to the Lord in prayer, and before you pray, I don’t know maybe you could give us maybe a few quick prayer requests that we could be keeping to heart for those in public office from Washington D.C. to our local townships and boroughs.

Dave Kistler:                 Well in keeping with our topic today I’m going to give you this prayer request. I encountered a gentleman on the opposite side of the aisle from where I would be politically. We had a wonderful conversation for about 20 minutes just outside the House chamber not long ago. It was an incredible conversation about the things that really matter, and that’s his spiritual destiny, and pray for this in a host of other people just like this that we are endeavoring to minister to on Capitol Hill.

 

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